By Nina Franco
This was my first Spring Break not traveling, but thanks to my Instagram feed I could almost feel the warm Cancun sand in my toes. Sadly, break has passed once again, and those days of lounging on the beach or in bed, drinking Pina Coladas or hot chocolate, and tanning or watching Netflix are long gone as we “spring” back into our routines.
For those of us who didn’t jet set this break, it’s time to plan an extravagant summer getaway. College is all about living on a budget and whether you just broke your wallet on Lolla tickets, a week’s worth of fruity smoothies at the beach bar, or in one night at Brick, a summer getaway probably isn’t in the cards. Nevertheless, the internet has opened up a lot of doors for traveling on a budget, you just have to take the time to look.
Europe is the dream for most college students. In 2016 alone, over twelve million U.S. citizens traveled somewhere in Europe. What did they spend the most money on with regards to, planning their European vacation? Flights. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), airlines made a total net revenue of $701 billion last year. While Expedia and Kayak are great sights to use when looking up bundle deals, it is Google Flights that will show you the best price on the market. You could save hundreds of dollars by booking your flights through Google. It not only shows you the lowest prices for your travel dates, but also provides a year-long calendar showing the best times to travel.
Airports also make a difference when planning your flights in and out of a destination. The closer you are to a coast, the cheaper your flight is going to be. Sorry mid-westerners, the best thing to do is drive to an airport close to the coast or Chicago’s O’Hare. Unfortunately, the same goes for non-European travel, unless you are headed to Canada or Mexico. The cheapest European destinations are Dublin, Ireland, Milan, Italy, and Barcelona, Spain if you take the time to play around with Google Flights.
However, if a flight to Dublin is too crazy for you, give the United States a shot. A good, old-fashioned road trip could do. Cities like Nashville, Savannah, New York, and Santa Fe could make for fun and affordable weekend getaways. A round-trip flight from Cincinnati to Savannah in June could range from 109 dollars to 350 dollars. The best places to go are the ones you probably haven’t given much thought to.